And so we have arrived at the end of the road for Telltale’s The Walking Dead. It has been a difficult series to play due to the events of the past few months which led to the studio closure and so many talented individuals being placed in such an awful scenario. Thanks to Skybound Games, the final episodes of The Walking Dead were delivered thus bringing a conclusion to Clementine’s story and I made sure to play it as soon as I could in order to share my thoughts. I have chosen to make this as spoiler free as possible so apologies for any vague or cryptic moments throughout.
The end of ‘Broken Toys’ was explosive to say the least and as a result, we are immediately unsure of the fate of everyone who ventured out on the rescue mission. Depending on your choices, you may already be well aware of some of those who may be in worse shape than others. The episode throws you straight in as you try to regroup with a sequence of moments that require some quick timing. The mechanic of coming out of cover to fire arrows also returns in this episode. It hasn’t been my favorite in this series as Marlon’s bow doesn’t feel like it has a whole lot of power however it did feel a little more effective in this episode which made things feel a little smoother during combat sequences. The episode doesn’t really let up for the entire first half as Clem, along with a couple of others, desperately try to make it back to the school with a herd of walkers on their tails. It’s doesn’t let up for a few scenes so my pointer would be to keep your hands on your controller.
When you do get a few moments to catch your breath, this is where the difficult conversations begin. It’s in these moments that I realised I had made some terrible decisions as Clementine as AJ started repeating back to me the things I had told him. Even I was confused and conflicted but then I had to make the choice of what to say to him next and that may have been the most difficult decision yet. You think it’s easy to make your dialogue choices but when they are repeated back to you, you suddenly remember that maybe they weren’t the best choices at all. What you say to AJ does matter and I know that I’ll have to go back at some point and do the opposite just to see what happens.
Once you start making progress, you’ll find a friendly face and continue to make your way back to the school but it won’t be easy. Unfortunately a vengeful raider who is well known to your friends has been trying to catch up and wants Tenn to stay with them. You can see that it won’t end well but we return to another cover and fire sequence in which timing and paying attention is key. I died a number of times because I didn’t watch the onscreen prompts closely enough and Clem met with a nasty bullet related accident. Depending on what you have said to AJ, the scenario goes one of two ways but ultimately, Clem is hurt and the walkers are closing in. Running as best as you can is the only option and hopefully, you will keep hitting those quick time events and hits on walkers to make it through.
Now, I don’t want to spoil anything but what I will say is that as in Guardians of the Galaxy, there are some pretty smooth sequences in which you swap between Clem and AJ as they try to keep safe. This was a nice touch and a mechanic that I really enjoyed in the Guardians series so it was a welcome change of pace and it did up the ante a little before the episode begins to slow down a little as it comes to it’s conclusion. It’s been quite fast paced up until this point, so it did feel like a welcome change otherwise you may have felt that you were almost racing to the finish when you could quite happily go for a few more miles.
As always the music and design was great with only one small audio issue where a character was crying very loudly all of a sudden but that was the only thing that I noticed that was a little out of place. The return of some of the mechanics was welcomed but the popping out of cover aspect has never been one that I’ve been very keen on mainly because you have to get it right otherwise you’ll just go through an endless cycle of death but ultimately it doesn’t take away from the overall pace of this episode. It did feel like it was over too soon but there were a couple of choices that I made that may have shortened some of the conversation so at some stage I may go back and see whether that adds a couple of minutes to the overall length. It’s hard to say whether you would really want it to be any longer it would have almost feel like it was being dragged out so I was happy with the length of the episode which I completed in around 2 hours.
I don’t think there is much else for me to say except that I thought this Final Season has been great all things considered. All who worked on the game should be incredibly proud of the story that they have told and I’m sure many fans are thankful to them for making it and for Skybound Games coming in. It’s been emotional, it’s been frustrating, it’s been exciting but overall, it has been Clem’s story and it’s been wonderful. I will miss the Walking Dead games and Clementine and am sure I will revisit them some day when I feel like I need to go through the emotional ringer again. The physical version of The Final Season is available now for you to pick up if you have been waiting for all of the episodes to be out so now is your chance to go through it all for yourself. Thank you Clem and thank you again to all those who worked on all of the Telltale games over the years.